With coronavirus affecting the lives of Americans in such a real way, more and more people are thinking about estate planning as they confront the idea of their own mortality. Some are creating plans for the first time. Others are taking the time to update their existing documents based on recent events, with reasons ranging from a change in employment status to the death of a former beneficiary.

Can I update my estate plan right now?

Absolutely. Most attorneys who handle estate planning conduct phone or virtual consultations now due to the safety measures advised by the Centers for Disease Control and enforced by the state of Texas. In addition, it may even be possible for a notary to validate some of your documents online.

What documents are most crucial to an estate plan in a global health crisis?

Estate plans typically include some (or all) of the following documents:

  • Wills
  • Revocable trusts
  • Powers of attorney
  • Beneficiary designations
  • Health care directives

You can choose to use a will or a revocable trust—or have both. However, the rest of the documents are usually crucial. In a time when even the young could become ill from a lethal virus, health care directives and power of attorneys are particularly essential.

Who needs to create an estate plan most?

While attorneys generally advise everyone to have an estate plan, it is perhaps more important than ever for parents of young children to create estate plans. In the unfortunate event that something happens to a one or both parents, it is vital that there is a plan in place and a guardian selected to look after their minor children and that assets are well-organized for designation.